Wednesday, December 30, 2009
The laws related to Durable Powers of Attorney (“DPAs”) have largely evolved from the common law of agency and are steadily moving toward a statutory framework. The statutory law is moving from relatively short statutes amending the common law of agency to a comprehensive framework supplemented by the common law. The driving force behind this trend is the desire for increased acceptance and use of DPAs. However, DPAs are still relatively new legal tools. Case law and statutes regarding their interpretation and construction continue to develop and vary from state to state.
The Uniform Power of Attorney Act (“UPOAA”) was promulgated in 2006 by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (“NCCUSL”) in an attempt to bring uniformity to this area of the law, which is rapidly emerging as a significant, if not vital, estate planning tool. A UPOAA bill was introduced into the Virginia General Assembly in January 2009 and passed with a provision that requires the UPOAA to be reenacted in the 2010 Session in order to become effective. The authors recommend that the General Assembly re-enact the UPOAA in the 2010 Session with the amendments suggested in this article.